Beyond Frank and Betty – The Emily Dahl Foundation

Beyond Frank and Betty

This is a short story about the lamp in the picture.  This lamp was hand carved by Ted Ohlsen who works closely with The Emily Dahl Foundation. 

You can see Ted’s story at

Ted sent me this lamp just after Christmas 2020 as part of a larger collection of lamps and carvings.  When it arrived, it had broken inside the box.  My dear friend Willy, who can fix anything, took it to his woodshop and brought it back fixed up about one month later.  I had to find a home for it. 
Around that same time my aunt Sylvia in Saskatchewan had expressed interest in one of Ted’s lamps.  I told her I really wanted to find one for her and Larry (my uncle).  In addition, I told her I would like to send something for Susan and Sara as well – her daughters.  I have always been close with my Aunts and Uncles and most of us cousins stay in touch through family reunions, funerals, and weddings. I have always had fondness for Susan and Sara. 

The reason Aunt Syvia had me on a bit of a mission to find the right lamp is because I sensed her deep caring and love when our lovely daughter Emily passed away.  Emily’s suicide was not easy. Someone who commits suicide can bring much suffering.  Our family was no exception and Jan 26 ,2019 was hard on all of us.  Sylvia, Larry ,Susan and Sara all reached out to me and continue to be there for me every single day – they are there for Emily and love her deeply.  As such, I wanted to get them a lamp from Ted that could bring out some of his teachings and be a lovely gift for my Aunt Sylvia and her whole family. 

It has become very clear to me that there is no birth and no death. 
Let me ask you this, “Before something was born, did it exist or not?  If a baby is already present in the mother’s womb, how can we say he or she is not born yet?  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that something that is already present cannot be born.  

Let’s just assume something for today’s discussion and that is: “Mediation reveals the no-birth of all things. Life is a continuation.  No birth, No death – only transformation and continuation.”   Sherman Dahl If we now go back to the lamp, you will notice that it has two lamps in one.  Therefore, I picked this lamp.  One of the lamps is Susan and the other is Sara. Susan and Sara are the continuation of Larry and Sylvia who are also in the lamp.  It just happened to be that my grandma and grandpa – Frank and Betty are in the painting on the wall in the background walking in a Saskatchewan wheat field. 

Clearly , we are all connected in this vast universe – we are all one and need to care for each other as our own. 

Ted’s lamp can help bring you all these deep realties if you simply sit and apply logic, reason and introspection of the way things are.  You can touch his teachings through the power of the boreal forest.  You will soon say “Happy Continuation Day” instead of “Happy Birthday”. 

This mediation and understanding of birth and death is very important.  Suppose you look up in the sky and decide you want to kill a cloud.  You will soon realize this is not possible.  A cloud can only become snow or rain.  So, the desire to kill is a thought based on ignorance, anger, and violence.  That is why the act of killing is wrong – it has no intelligence or wisdom.  Modern science also agrees you cannot kill anything – there is only transformation, there is no death.  

The real miracle is to walk on Earth.  The miracle is not to walk on thin air or water, but to walk on earth.  The earth and the Boreal forest are so beautiful.  We can allow ourselves to walk mindfully, touching the Earth, with each step.  

We can sit with Ted’s lamp and think of Frank and Betty and all those before them and all those after them. But we must go beyond Frank and Betty to see the truth ; we must look deeply. 

Take some time to think of all your family and friends that are still with us in form and those that are not.  

Deep reflection reveals the truth, we are all one and we are all connected and transforming, and at the centre of the universe, the real creator of this movie – is you.  

Sherman Dahl The Emily Dahl Foundation February 28 ,2021